Tonganoxie box social proves to be lucrative fundraiser
The Tonganoxie Community Historical Society’s first crack at an old-time tradition was quite the success.
TCHS had a box social Saturday on historic site campus that was a nod to box socials that were popular a century ago.
Box lunches were decorated years ago and men bid on those boxes women decorated and filled with food.
Saturday’s event also had a celebrity auction that raised $1,980. That number also accounted for regular lunches people purchased and any matching funds the “celebrities” donated.
“I thought it went well,” said historical society member Keyta Kelly. “We were a little disappointed we didn’t have a better turnout from the community, but those who did turn out really got in there and bid high and enjoyed themselves.”
Celebrities were Sissy Hoegler, Mrs. Kansas 2014; Todd Thompson, Leavenworth County attorney; Charley Green as Will Rodgers; Steve Bell from KCUR public radio; Shannon O’Brien, Emmy award-winning reporter with Fox 4; Lyn Rantz, USD 464 superintendent; Jeff Brandau, Tonganoxie police chief; Jack Holcom, Tonganoxie City fire chief; and Jason Ward, Tonganoxie mayor.
Local celebrities were asked to include some sort of “added value” for the winning bidders.
Hoegler, for instance, threw in a $50 beauty gift card. Hoegler is a local hairstylist. O’Brien said a photo of the winning bidder would be featured on a newscast. Perry Walters was the winning bidder.
The event also kicked off the new season for the museum.
The museum is open 9 a.m.-noon Wednesdays as weather permits and 1-4 p.m. Sundays from April through October.
Kelly said the organization’s long-term goal is to have the museum open more frequently, but she said the group needs more volunteers to accomplish it.
She also credited Tonganoxie students with helping make the event a success.
Tonganoxie High School FFA members Makayla Callaghn and Chloe Langford, as well as THS Family, Career and Community Leaders of America members Angela Faherty and Justin Patrick decorated the lunch boxes, as did Elizabeth Patrick, Justin’s older sister.
Students also stood at various stations in the museum to tell visitors about the exhibits while wearing corresponding outfits. Tonganoxie Middle School History Club students Amber Adcox, Savannah Adams, Brandy Riker, Julia Westrich, Jamsine Sejnoha, Braxton Shupe and Phillip Vaughn, as well as fellow students Kathryn Wombwell and Heather Wombwell stood at stations throughout the museum. THS FCCLA members Kirsten Shriner and Audrey Donnel assisted with setup and cleanup of the event.
Auctioneer Lynne Sebree also donated his time for Saturday’s event.
Kelly said organizers would be having a wrap-up meeting to discuss the event and evaluate whether to make it an annual event.
“I think everything went as planned,” Kelly said. “The weather cooperated perfectly. That was nice.”